I pretend to sip my drink and eye the crowd around me. The dim lighting hampered visibility but what I could see was definitely not the best of humanity. A crude and violent kind of people. Some sort of organized fight was happening in a corner and much gambling was going on. I take a quick inventory of the people gathered around the ring. Most were drunk and senselessly gambling away thier money. Apart from the gamblers, there were a few mean looking guys who were probably looking to making some money in the ring. Most of the patrons were trying to catch a glimpse of the action from their seats but not successfully so. A short chap was sitting at a table sipping his beer, with a hat covering most of his face. At a nearby table sat a particularly large man with long blonde hair. Something about his face would send a shiver down many spines. Maybe it’s the smile, the smile of a lion who has cornered its prey. And when he smiled, I was almost certain I saw fangs. Or was it those eyes, like a predator looking for some foolish prey to fall into it’s grasp. In all probability, this might be the one I am looking for. The guy who gutted Selina. Left her to bleed to death. Had it not been for the communicator I gave her, she would’ve never survived. My heart had stopped when I heard her cry over the phone. The mad rush to get to her. I close my eyes and try to push the memories away. Have to concentrate on the task at hand. Have to push back the rage. I grit my teeth and manage to subdue my anger.

Aloof from the crowd there stood a tall and majestic throne on which sat a tall lady. Dressed in less, it was pretty evident that she owned the place and probably half the town. On either side of her, stood tall, hired muscle. Whether the loyalty was towards her or to her money, it was evident that any who was foolish enough to cross her would be dealt with swiftly and very painfully. A sudden cry of pain brings my attention back to the ring. As I turn, I see a man large as a house smash his opponent into the floor. His bruised and bloodied body, obviously bereft of life, is soon dragged away. The large man shouts out many challenges. The size of the guy itself intimidates many and there are no takers for the offer. The guy with the blonde hair smiles and stands up. I realize that he just found his prey. Curious to know how this would turn out, I get up and push my way to the front of the audience. The man giant was still in the ring shouting out challenges and swearing at some unknown foe. The blonde guy walks up to the ring and jumps in with a grace that is suprising for someone so large. The two come up face to face. Tall as the blonde guy is, he is dwarfed by the living mountain in front of him.Bets are soon made with incredibly high odds against the blonde guy. I notice the tension in the ring and sense that both were waiting for the other to make the first move. Probably tired of waiting, the giant rushes only to connect with air as the blonde guy sidesteps him with ridiculous ease. Enraged, the giant starts swinging wildly at his opponent. Each blow looks powerful enough to bring down a building and yet none of them connect. All the while, the blonde guy keeps grinning and dodging his opponent with ease. And then suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, he ceases dodging and takes a punch.The crows gasps, for the punch is powerful enough to throw the guy backwards. One would expect him to get up hopping mad and fight like hell but he just stands up with that evil grin on his face, as if he was just testing his opponent’s power. He takes a few more punches without hitting back as if silently taunting his opponent to try and hurt him. The giant starts bellowing and was very evidently losing control as the punches became more and more random and undirected. As if this was precisely what he was waiting for, the blonde guy lunges at the giant, moving almost faster than eye could see. My quick eye notices a flash of metal and moments later, the giant is on his back, bleeding. No one cries foul. Not a single sound is heard from the bar which was all too noisy just a moment ago. Even the toughened patrons stare in horror at the spectacle in front of them. The blonde guy’s hands, covered in blood, have metallic nails protruding from his fingers. He crouches there like some beast from a monster movie, with bloodshot eyes and a snarl on his lips.In mere moments, the beast within had been unleashed and had satisfied it’s bloodlust. I realize with dawning horror that here was confirmation that this was indeed the person I was looking for. For Selina’s belly was gutted much in the same way. As if some beast had attacked her. Though she was too delirious to remember details, she was sure it was a man. The man beast standing in front of me. I quietly take off my shirt and step into the ring.

There is a gasp from the audience. To them, it made no sense. Here was this beast in humaniform, having just felled a guy as large as a house, in one shot. And this normal looking guy was going in to fight him. All the patrons in the bar start to gather around the ring.
The blond guy looks at me with that evil grin of his and slowly licks his bloodied fingers. My rage doesn’t let me feel fear. I force my mind to relax and convince myself that I can do this. Both of us circle each other like two wolves gearing up for battle. I know that he will wait for me to make the first move. So I fake a lunge at him and catch him with a left hook. Caught off guard, he snarls and attacks back. I easily sidestep him for he was clearly enraged and thankfully wasn’t fighting like he could’ve. Another lunge, and my side-step attempt is interrupted by his claws tearing through the flesh in my arm. I grit my teeth and channel my mind away to ignore the pain. I keep my eyes on his hands only to be kneed in during the next encounter. More attacks are met either with powerful blocks, or even more painfully, with savage counter-attacks. Slowly, it dawns on me that the claws were not his only weapons. He obviously has had a lot of training in hand-to-hand combat, as my mastery of multiple forms of martial arts weren’t exactly helping me against this monster. I try to push back my emotions and fight this logically but Selina’s face fills my memories and this moster’s evil looks weren’t helping with the fear either. I parry some more, with neither of us landing any major hits. Suddenly, I realize that I am weakening, having lost a lot of blood from multiple wounds. He smiles as if he read my thoughts. His cockiness returns and once again, he’s the lion circling in for the kill. Rage blinds my senses, and I leap out in a savage kick that would’ve felled any other lion I’ve known. But it hardly fazed this one. I started feeling like I was losing my senses for I could no longer see any bruises on him. He seemed to be healing right before my eyes. Knowing that this could very well be my last stand, I attack him savagely with hardly any regard to stance or method. He just swaps me away like a fly. Darkness starts falling and I struggle to stay concious. A sharp pain in my abdomen tells me that he has just gutted me. As I crumble to the floor, I vaguely see his figure looming over me, preparing for the finishing blow. From somewhere in the distance, a voice calls out, ‘That will be enough, Creed’. I fight against the enclosing darkness and regain enough vision to see the short guy from the table, talk to the monster called Creed. Some incomprehensible words are exchanged and I see metal flash and soon Creed joins me in a pool of blood. This new short monster has foot long metal claws protruding from his knuckles. My sanity stretched to its limits, i pass out.

I wake up in a strange hospital with no familiar faces around. It takes me a while to come to realize that I am back in Gotham. I seemed to have been out for several days on end. I looked around, still dazed from the terrible ordeal. On seeing me awake, the nurse brings me an envelope.I tear it open. Inside is a hand-written note. “Creed has paid for what he did to your woman. Go in peace. A friend.”